forms of this 'Sound mind, in a sound
body', idea or ideal were surfacing. The practices were referred to as
Up until this point the need to make oneself vigorous was nothing really
modernistic. Environments and hard work either shaped or diminished men
and the health of their loved ones. Some thrived on rigorous activity
physical employment, and others factory bound or constitutionally weak
found simpler ways.
Physical Culture in the beginning of the 1900's was becoming an
organized movement Euro rooted on natural past experiences of the
Greco-Roman early civilizations. The basic fare evolving was free-hand
calisthenics, gymnastics and a small amount of resistance exercise using
solid weights of all shapes and descriptions.
In the 1920's weights, now somewhat refined instruments of power and
strength building, gained precedence over most existing forms for
induction of might into the skeletal muscles. They made many of the then
existing training apparatus obsolete. Barbells and dumbbells for
concentrated brawn building became the ultimate physical building tools
with their progressive scientific use, for the 'body regenerationist'.
During the late twenties and early thirties lifts of specific
conformation and athletic potencies (using the barbell) were already
heavily in vogue. Modern Weightlifting as it is conducted today at the
Olympic Games was underway and Weightlifting rather than feats of
strength was gaining common acceptance as a sport.
Accompanying the opening 1940's, Weightlifting due to its capability of
developing the human anatomy, experienced a minor division within its
school of thought. An isolated philosophy dedicated to aesthetics
developed into the scientific study of physical culture. Although all
P.C. and Weightlifting builds the body, this fresh fallout, so to speak,
encompassed the visual structural aura of muscle symmetry and was dubbed
with the impure elemental name of . . .' Bodybuilding '.
During this post World War II era, a Bodybuilding specialty lift evolved
which developed massive flaring pectoral muscles on men, or tantalizing
high crested breasts on women-ultimately being favored due to its easy
performance and fast results. Iron trainers everywhere began recognizing
the lift as a 'key' to building power and visual size into the flashy
muscles of the arms and upper torso.
In the opening 1950's...this 'key' lift than being glamorized by the
growing Joe Weider promotional influence in his major publications and
journals of muscle and strength building, gained an awesome grip on the
field of Physical Culture... launching names like Doug Hepburn and Reg
Park into the power legend byways.
In the four decades to come, men would max-out with upwards of 800
pounds (Anthony Clark), with women pushing major lifts of 395 pounds
(K. Allen in 198 lb. class) and more.
This special egocentric move has fared well against the 70's and 80's
revolutions in Bodybuilding proposing to build bigger muscles and
strength faster by implementing various redirected resistance machines.
And the popular barbell lift still prevails. A few shunned the dumbbell
and barbell for what they felt were more efficient machines for working
and isolating the muscle fibers.
But, one Bodybuilding free weight barbell lift continually holds the
curiosity, the basic drives and the overall general theme of what
barbell Bodybuilding really contributes to the torso power foundations.
Even now at the beginning of the 21st Century.
It consistently holds the deep fascination of muscle builders making
IRON CONNECTION, regardless of the controversies which surround
performance and theories of resistance actions . . . this official 'Powerlift'
is called 'Bench Press'. The kinesio-technical Bench Press success system
for men and women you are about to study is a remarkably productive
mode, when applied employing maximum mind and muscle contraction
control. That word again is maximum. And again (when we refer to
'control') its a pure, determined though of a separated, tuned reality
away from outside factors, and a hard-sweating, teeth-gritting, muscle
fight with no let up. This is not a muscle building course, although
massive muscles, thick and dense will be an end product in the areas of
chest, rear arm, front shoulder region and latissimus dorsi muscle of
the back which interact as stabilizers of the bench pressing sinew
groups. Even the neck muscles gain column like hypertrophy.
The sole purpose of this compilation is to forge raw excessive
mastodon-like energy for the handling of heavier poundages on the bench
press. For this reason you will need a bench with sturdy racks.
Otherwise the barbell will not be technically available for maximum and
At times you may need a training partner. If you train at home often
alone, this training partner is mandatory. In either case you must have
an open and clear mind, willing to face stress with a logic that points
in only one direction . . . forward.
The methods discussed here in organization have in one year added two
hundred pounds to the bench press of one particular person who trained
on them correctly. Thousands of others have lifted with them achieving
goals far beyond the scope of their wildest imagination.
The course modes were engineered, organized and constructed in a gym
combat setting, not by just one man who found them result-producing, but
literally by hundreds who were the original guinea pigs for its assorted
phases and supplementary supportive systems of conditioning. The actual
'bugs', both physical and psychological, were eliminated under these
conditions as the system evolved to its present state. You must merely
remember: "Bench Pressing is a war" and "The weight is your physical and
"The act of bench pressing is total war". You against a barbell's
weighted metallic resistance. Each 'gain' of poundage is an iron battle
victory. Every personal record broken is a position breakthrough.
General George S. Patton is quoted as saying: "War is simple, direct and
ruthless. It takes a man who is simple, direct and ruthless to wage
What you are considering to undertake here is a maneuver engineered to
build strategic strength. You cannot approach it thinking soft. For to
think soft is to fight soft. All wars, personal or otherwise, are won by
those with better weaponry and the mentality to use it.
This system is a 'smart bomb' weapon, and by, implementing its technical
strategic, cunning and ruthless guile you will get the most out of your
power assault performance. So you will always take the high ground, you
should approach the bench press with a basic enthusiastic feeling
similar to a 'person escaping from hell'.
Employing this system of tactics correctly, means performing it no more
than three times a week and no less than twice a week. It requires at
least a day's rest between each session, and when used in its most
concentrated, stressful form, two days' rest is sometimes required. The
gaining ratios determine the recuperative factors.
Extra heavy weights place a tremendous workload and stress on the
shoulder joints when bench pressing. Acromioclavicular and humeral
ligament and tendon joint attachments must be given enough time to rest
and regain the connective tissue power potential they release during
stress stretched workout periods.
"B.P." extra heavy specialization stretches and exerts massive pressure
on the arm/shoulder girdle ligament-tendon connectives, and joint
capsule lubricating sacs (bursae) in a way unlike they affect the muscle
tissue. It takes their elasticity-bonding strength longer to return to
for smooth joint capsule articulation and collagenic (a fibrous protein)
For this reason heavy specialized B.P. work means cutting down on
training actions such as press behind the neck, which may cause severe
joint structure strain when worked in the same routine. Even when
performed on a preceding day it may hamper the joint structures stress
stretched maximum recuperation.
When you operate with the super poundages this system of tactics employs
. . . "You must get adequate recuperative rest for total tissue repair
and energy redevelopment, if you are to get stronger and become
effective on that bench.²
Phase One, The traditional standard B.P. leverage grip spans thirty-two
inches from thumb to thumb. Some trainers like it wider. Whatever your
choice, this is your power groove. For maximum weight potential the
important thing is where you lay the bar when it descends to the chest.
That place should be the highest part of the rib cage. Trainers with
deep rounded rib cages have a natural advantage in this instance since
they have less space to move the bar through than those who have
shallower thoraxes, when pressing to arms locked position. That is your
For the novice (meaning those who have never trained before) the
totality of your training scheme is based on working each bodypart with
one exercise for a month or so, till proper condition is gained and
training can be intensified. If you are such a beginner put this program
aside for at least two months because it's far beyond your potential and
need at the moment.
Implementation of the Phase One system begins with a specialized
approach to a set and rep weight ratio tactic. It works like this, based
on four sets:
Warm-ups are never considered a set. The bench press should always be
pre-programmed with a competent warm-up procedure, taking a light weight
and executing a dozen or so repetitions to pump some blood into the cold
torso and extremity tissues and joint bonding areas.
Also, and this is very important, a few torso bending and twisting
actions must be included. Hanging from a chinning bar and rotating your
head (around, down to chest up and back to the rear) is a needed
excellent precaution to take before starting the B.P.. In this way, the
cervical spine can be cleared and realigned, which makes for better neck
comfort suppleness when laying on a bench.
Often a vertebra in the upper thoracic spinal column, where the rib cage
is connected, is slightly off its normal axis and can ruin your neuro
power output. Both hanging or the B.P. warm-up reps can pop that back.
Eliminate structural torso stress and cold shoulder strains with this
Maximum power output is geared and measured via this four set tactic in
the following way and will act as a strength-building B.P. conditioner:
'The dynamics of your power output always rest on the first set and
'seven' is the magic number. All first sets are performed with five to
When you are able to perform seven reps, add weight at your next
training session. Add ten pounds to the first set. That is your key to
all gaining power.
Examining this, we find that during every workout a gain of some sort
should be made. Starting with a weight in the first set that can be
handled for five reps, you work to achieve seven by trying to add one
rep during each bench press session. In effect you are living for that
'big seven' high ground. It takes guts and will to get 'seven'.
Ordinarily, six workouts will add the necessary full two reps. You
embark on the second set for the count of three to five reps while
adding ten pounds to the bar. Your muscles that were tired in the first
set will now be conditioned to handle and feel a heavier poundage.
Usually when the first set poundage advances to seven, the second will
hit five. In this way, you can be sure you have a solidified gain in
strength. Then in the third set an additional ten pounds added and one to
three reps are executed. This is your heaviest aggressive set. Finally,
a fourth high repetition set is included for ten to twelve reps with
fifty pounds less than you began with during the first set. The bar,
rather than being lowered to the rib cage, is brought to the collarbone
in a free flowing loose movement which is meant to loosen up and
institute more circulation to the congested area. As well, it will
instill a better pliability to the connections of the shoulder girdle.
Because bench pressing to the rib cage is not a full range pectoral
movement. Power or 'no', flexibility must always be maintained.¹
Analyzing this phase, heavier weights are continually handled. Therefore
the first set will always feel rather light and comfortable. If you
cannot add a rep, examine how that rep feels and also have a training
partner back you up. The spotter will help you to force that particular
rep out by lifting it slightly with their fingers: termed a forced
repetition. Next session that rep should be a free rep and if still
forced will feel lighter. In either case, you will gain ground. Phase
one is your basic bench press tactic and can work indefinitely. To say
that a sticking point may occur is to program an expectation of one into
your training. Should an actual sticking point stump your forward
advance 'you and only you' can determine the truth of its existence,
then a new battle strategy of power deployment is necessary.
When the former 'power groove' grip advance ceases to function to make
gains for more than a couple of weeks, a reinforcement maneuver is
called up on the bench. This is accomplished by change of grip from
thirty-two inches between thumbs to a twenty three or twenty-four inch
hold, depending on your own personal power groove. (A reduction of ten
inches inward will serve the purpose.)
With no more than three workouts, a sticking point can be smashed
through using this method.
First, train the usual power groove with the regular set and rep system
just as before, skipping the light fourth set. Instead, marshalling the
new grip in the fourth set, work a weight that will allow five to seven
reps, adding a fifth set with the same grip and ten pounds more for
three to five reps. Finally, finish with the power groove pumping set as
your sixth set.
The results show up in the third or fourth session employing this new
tactic of reinforcement in the following ways:
The bar in the power groove seems to take up and down action with a new
control, and jumps through the center of the B.P. motion upward. Still
regardless, the magic number is seven in the power groove for making
gains of weights. Ultimately with time, the weight handled in this grip
will climb to the poundage the power groove was stuck at. 'The Groove'
action will force forward twenty or thirty pounds in a month or two,
based on past performance data using the mind will power link which will
be discussed shortly.
Phase Three, is an adaptation of two, only this time the grip adjusts
further inward to close grip. Hands together for again five to seven in
the first close set and three to five in second.
That composes a bench press session of seven sets with the pump set
(using the wide grip power groove) again shifted to the last position or
eighth set. It's extremely important to note if gains are being made in
the time space already described, adding extra is not necessary and will
not make the gains come up any faster.
The result of phase three will be the same as that experienced in the
gain of ground from phase two. The bar will become a toy like object in
the power groove due to the reinforced packing of the muscle fibers in
the medium and close grip grooves, which strengthen the muscle system
unit's coordinating and power output action.
Phase Four - Plan A, Although the bar may fall to your complete control an underlying element
can still hold you back. That of fear. Fear of tonnage and the way it
feels in your hands. When a weight feels heavy, it is heavy.
Phase four (A diversionary tactic.) When you need a ruthless
conditioning weapon for a week or two, lockouts will suffice as your
offensive weapons. Also known as supports, the bar is loaded to more
than one hundred pounds over your best total and ultimate bench press
performance. Removing the bar from the bench racks, it is supported and
lowered an inch or so for five to seven reps (a training partner must be
on hand to back you up) unless you have a specially constructed power
rack with catchers that can be pressed up from. This action done on a
free standing bench press is dangerous. But in a span of three workout
periods, the nerves, ligaments, tendons, and muscle will toughen to such
a degree that the ordinary power groove poundage will assume a whimsical
lightness. Supports are included only after the third and heaviest power
groove set in phase one. They may be added or excluded as necessary, at
any time for a two to three week interval, for maximum effectiveness.
Phase Four - Plan B, No doubt, a weight heavy at arms length will also be heavy at the
touchdown area on the rib cage. The 'Plan B' attack on the lower
perimeter of your strength groove can and will close up weak gaps in
your bench pressing forces.
Plan B however, is only for the most serious dedicated B.P. person and
needs two assistants or a power rack with adjustable position.
The action is similar to an isometric contraction except, unlike
isometrics that exert muscle force against stationary objects and
surfaces for a timed resistance response. Your resistance will be a
'live weight load', that is pressing down returning pressure to the
muscle area. Which neurologically makes this a superior power builder.
The very same bench press weight used for supports is placed or lowered
to your chest by your training partners. Here you attempt to bench
press. Naturally, with over a hundred pounds more than you are capable
of pressing, the bar is not going to go up. And that's the point. Push
against it, fight it, feel it, for 6 over stress reps. This builds
explosive power that goes off like an atomic bomb when you return to
normal exercising poundages. The result: A bar blasting away from your
chest like a heat-seeking missile racing to its target. Now there are
some problems with this single set. When the bar is released and lifted
away by the spotters, a sharp ache flashes across the chest and shoulder
girdle. Plan B is a brutal assault on these torso points, but a vital
link-up for an explosively vicious power groove. The insertion of Plan B
takes place after supports in phase one, and is a last resort when all
else fails to produce major weight breakthroughs of a steadily
increasing amount. One set with six hard slugs at the bar is all that's
required. (Final note): Make sure your selected platoon spotters aren't
a pair of jokers. They can seriously cripple you by playing around. Here
are the stats for an effective spotter or spotter squad...
A good spotter (not only for your safety) is a partner who can
recognize the amount of lift you need to complete the reps you're
forcing. This is not done with the hands but with his finger tips
keeping the bar ascending smoothly during the force rep.
Doing more than 3 forced reps (in my opinion) is too much strain on
the shoulder joint.
The purpose of a forced rep is an
adaptation response in strength causing you to perform a clean extra rep
next time you train with that weight.
Forced reps in every bench workout potentially can cause
overtraining...or not. You have to be the judge of this depending on
your personal strength and gaining patterns. Meaning you have to keep
track of your repping performance and not just blindly 'bomb and blitz'.
As to the negative part of the bench bar
lay down (and finding your
power groove). You probably know already the negative action is 40%
higher in strength potential that the positive. And it's negative
actions in any resistance move that create muscle strength compensation
for building density and fiber strength. But forced negatives on a move
like the bench can be very abusive of the acromialclavicular shoulder
joint attachments and the rotator cuff. Doing a negative forced rep,
means to me having to have someone (potentially 2 partners) totally lift
that bar off your chest after you lower a weight 40% more than you can
handle in a full rep. I see this as a very damaging principle on the
joints as a consequence...if not now...in the future due to possible
bursa lubrication sack impingement.
Time Keying for Optimizing Goals During the entire presentation of these training tactics not once have
weights in numbers been mentioned. Only in passing near the end of this
B.P. combat plan will a figure indeed by referred to. How much you want
to lift is your personal goal. You must create the goals, and expend the
energy to victoriously fight up to them and onward. To accomplish that,
time must be structured to approach this in steps. No trainer can jump
up 100 pounds in a month. Your strategy: Select a major poundage and
time limit to work toward mastering this goal. At the same time, create
a minor number of smaller weight positions. Now, break these goals into
a series of battle grounds using the tactics presented here. In effect,
this is your bench press campaign.
(An example): In one month try to gain twenty pounds on your bench.
Because in either a few months or up to a year, your goal is 100 pounds
more than your personal record of today. Only in doing this can you make
clear to your mind and physical being what is expected of it. You must
be simple, ruthless and direct with yourself. Mind force is the next
area of discussion and will make that clear.
Mind and Mood
Sequence for a Constant Muscle Force. If you see yourself as weak or uninterested in hard training. Or if you
have your mind on other things when you start your bench press session.
Then your muscles will not perform, because they need a complete mind
energizing focus to activate them to their ultimate contracting
potential. Similarly, if you categorize yourself as a person who cannot
achieve a goal set by yourself, then that goal will remain unchallenged
and un-breached. Your conscious and hidden expectations determine exactly
how far you will go on any path you choose to travel or any battle you
accept or are forced to fight. The answer is to think power if you want
power. A philosopher named Schopenhauer once said, "Life is my idea". Do
you know what that means? It means to think and act as one, and believe
a goal can be reached. Believing it and acting upon it will take you
there. On the bench press, before you even touch the bar, picture
yourself as strong and always believe it on every rep. Don't be
discouraged by a few possible low energy mood failures, because they are
making you stronger since you learn from them. That is the purpose of
this system with
©THE IRON CONNECTION.
NUTRITIONAL MISSION REINFORCEMENTS,
All human beings eat to live. An army travels on its stomach. A
champion, any champion must nourish properly to build and perform. In
our frame of reference 'each' needs food to produce energy and repair
the energy producing system that uses it.
A primary rule of thumb here is . . . "You cannot expend more energy
than you replace if you expect to gain strength and power".
A well balanced diet, rich in carbohydrates, proteins, fats and fiber
from natural sources combined with liquid intake fills the needs of any
intelligent athlete. But super power training as this technique makes
explicit has a special nutritional concern.
Here we consume our meals with an eye toward protective recuperative
nutrition. Some would immediately argue that there is no such thing, and
the body will respond automatically due to the demands and workload put
But the techno-nutriceutical revolution of passed years at the opening
of the 21st Century is proving that attitude a genetic outdated
archetype, from the metabolic low performance athletic and strength
generations that have gone before. Our additional answer to ergogenic
and specialized nutrient non-believers is: In a hospital after surgery
they now give Vitamin C and Zinc supplements which have been found to
play a role in the healing process. Stress ridden businessmen are given
B-Complex vitamins to counteract the dynamic effects of the competitive
mental struggle they face daily, with their nervous and cardiovascular
systems also augmented with Vitamin E.
The question is why? When you exert a peculiar demand on the human
metabolic process compensating chemical reactions take place varying
from individual to individual. But certain factors always remain the
same. The need of various nutritional elements for each above the norm
In strength building the words protective and anabolic enter the
metabolic flow. This means paying special attention not only to the
balanced diet for maintaining health standards, but to nutrients that
correlate with the extreme expenditure of energy that must be replaced
with priority above 'that norm'. In this physical circumstance an
anaerobic 'super stressed' norm.
That directly requires the use of elements that constitute the
composition of connective and bonding substances (collagen) in the body
and those involved in the release of energy. Certain vitamins and
minerals fit this group of nutrients and can be acquired for insurance
from a strong multi-vitamin and mineral tablet taken with meals.
However, special thought should be given to 3 important supplements as
well. That of (lead free) bone meal tablets, Vitamin C with
bioflavonoids and an Amino Acid liquid blend formula (such as TwinLab's'
Amino Fuel) and than there's the anabolic atomic
THE GLUT VINDICATOR
Additionally the training supplement (anabolic ergogenic) Glutamine is
a major repair and anabolic promoting amino, this is changed into
Proline and Hydroxy Proline the two base aminos of collagen which
supports bone and muscle composition.
While there are many reasons to take glutamine from neurotransmitter
synthesis, immune system boosting, increase of insulin sensitivity, to
connective tissue synthesis...and many more. We trainers use it at 5-7
grams to give a growth hormone release which makes the muscle fibers
more sensitive to protein synthesis. At that potency GH may be raised
(meaning circulating GH) 3-5 times the usual level, GH internal
environment related sensitively release decreases as you age. Taking
capsules is not economical. Glutamine has no taste so the straight
powder by a teaspoon or a
teaspoon and half (heaping) should give
you the necessary 5-7 grams. You can mix it in your mouth using water.
Or stir it into the water. It's also super to take after a workout as
well, than have protein drink within 45 minutes later for a major
anabolic reaction caused by the training and glut in tandem
This amount is necessary because the intestines which also use it pick
lot...since they also use it in the transport system of nutrients
absorption process into the blood.
Research in anabolic nutrition and ergogenics has proven the 5-7 grams
works effectively. That's a good mean to work from seeing how good you
feel in performance. Meaning how well you recoup with sets, training
Try glutamine as a power up weapon, you'll be pleasantly surprised by
what you find as a response. Last thing, try to get it on a fairly empty
stomach. Glutamine creates the GH release in about 30-45 minutes. So
when you train you can (also) sip a light protein and carb drink between
sets and do yourself a lot of good, as just another example of possible
ergogenic applications using pre-workout glutamine. 5 grams taken twice
a day can have a dramatic effect on safe strength building and joint
Here's why: The bones are the depository of most minerals. Minerals, not
available to body energy in the blood stream via food, will be extracted
from the bones. Heavy consumption of refined foods as is the practice
today, causes imbalances in the calcium- phosphorus ratio. These two are
primarily involved, along with other minerals, in the process of
contraction and relaxation in the muscle fiber.
Heavy stress loads placed upon the bone structure create a need for more
calcium in the bones and they become denser, just as muscle fibers using
protein, and carbohydrates get stronger and thicker. Here, a special
need beyond the normal use of the body takes place. Bone meal
tablets (lead free), or a calcium-magnesium-zinc supplement and less
refined foods are a protective insurance step when energized with
Vitamin D. A cheaper way to go would be a simple two glasses of skim
milk...which contains almost the entire calcium daily requirement with
Vitamin D to make it bone incorporation friendly, and 16 grams of
Vitamin C with bioflavonoids, or C as it is chemically known, ascorbic
acid, is the major bonding substance of all tissue in the human organism
and combines with certain proteins and minerals to allow our mobilizing
tissues (muscles) and their connections (collagen) to have elasticity and
durability. Without 'C', blood vessel walls easily rupture under heavily
exercising stress. Evidence seems to indicate that both vitamin C and
calcium are difficult to absorb in the presence of refined foods. But
work with each other synergistically when not blocked from interacting.
Minerals play a dominant role in all electrical activity in the body
from rudimentary nervous system function to muscle reaction and liquid
hydration balances. Specifically potassium and sodium are involved here.
Addition of bone meal tablets (or powder) are roughly that of consuming
physical formulas resembling your own chemical composition for use in
the body's skeletal and supporting tissue. When using heavy weights on
the bench, research four to six bone meal tablets combined with1000 mgs
of a Vitamin C supplement from natural sources, (30gm of an Amino Acid
liquid blend taken immediately after the workout within a 1/2 hour along
with a carbohydrate) to enhance enzyme production for collagen repair
and development, during the period of a day at meals, with a
multi-vitamin mineral tablet high in the B-Complex side of the
Now lets examine this suggested nutritional behavior and its reasons:
Not acquiring the proper rest and recuperation with compensating
nutritional energy restorage has profound effects on the nervous system
in particular. Elements destroyed or changed in the tissues during
energy use must be replaced, otherwise the physical chemistry process
will recognize this situation as a deficit or overload technically
termed 'negative catabolism'.
On the conscious level, you will feel nervous and irritable. Progress in
accumulating strength will cease. On a more advanced level, this will
manifest itself as personal depression and a lethargy toward even
wanting to train. To coin a phrase, you'll be suffering from 'battle
fatigue' or going stale.
Mental depression of this sort induced by advanced organic system
fatigue can only be cured by 'not working out'. So a consistency based
on balance in training, nutrition and rest periods is a must to prevent
this, not continually searching for new strength routines.
When the weight always feels heavy and doesn't increase, every session
forced on yourself will be a so-called downer, ultimately leaving you
lost with no hope.
Time, rest and re-evaluation of your physical positions and the
recognition of this symptom will renew your forward thrust. But why let
that happen at all?
No one ever won a battle by giving up. The world battle itself points to
the concept of the human organism trying to conquer or equalize the
forces that surround it. Therefore, the goal in your case, is to
equalize the goal of your mind with the strength of your muscles, put
there by adequate concentrated nutrition and R and R (rest and
Understand the reconnaissance or messages your body's systems send back
to your mind. And it will be you who controls the 'win and lose
Question: How can I use this system and train other
Answer: Use it as your chest routine being careful not to overtax
with pressing exercises as described earlier. If you train every day,
upper body work should be done all in one day, so you may rest on the
alternate day devoted to leg training. And the leg work itself should be
not particularly brutal.
The best way to handle that is two days on, one day off, as a sequence.
But the ideal is three times a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday on a
whole body schedule. Bench first. The Powerlifting system which includes
deadlifts and squats is included on that day as well.
For Bodybuilding? You must choose how to expend the limited amount of
energy you have. It takes energy to train and energy to recuperate. How
well you gain is an individual result you must gear to.
If you want excess bench pressing power and want to exercise every
single day you can only stump your progress. Because the elemental
structure of the muscle fibers takes from 48 to 72 hours to regroup.
That, is related to energy and recuperative supplied by the blood
stream, which is also subject to the laws of rebuilding its own stores.
The inevitable answer to this puzzle is simple, direct, and ruthless
(you've heard those words before). If you're not making gains, then
check the battle plan. Regroup and move 'em out.
Question: Is there anything else that can protect my joints (shoulders,
elbows, wrists, and spinal column) during extra heavy training.
Answer: Yes, read the next section to find out what hurt them. But first
consider massage, warm showers while you knead the area with your
fingers. Or a dry hand held vibrator application to the areas for five
minutes after the workout.
A good nutriceutical product for joint lubrication and cartilage
protection is Glucosamine Sulfate which makes synovial joint fluids
thicker thereby cushioning bones that lock and support touching each
other from surface abrasion and wearing.
Training 'extra' heavy makes Glucosamine a protective ergogenic aid.
But that still does not mean you can abuse the joint with improper
performance and leverage explosions.
Question: Why do I feel a snap in my neck when I bench press?
Answer: Bench Pressing, and especially Bench Pressing to and from the
collarbone or neck can exert a counter press force to neutralize and
release subluxations and minor fixations in the lower cervical and upper
thoracic spinal column areas.
Bench Pressing potentially operates off the spinal vertebrae outlets
(C-5), (C-6), (C-7), (C-8), (T-1), supplying a pressure that influences their position or malalignment.
If you bow the spine during the Bench Press, the entire spine is than
stressed. Secondarily, lifting the buttocks off the bench and arching is
not a good and safe performance maneuver, although it can add up to 50
pounds to any Bench Press. Official competitions disqualify the lifter
who body arches lifting the butt off the bench.
Question: How can I be sure the information contained here will work?
Answer: 'Success is 99% belief bonded to action. Make it work!'
For some years now bench pressing on flat and incline benches with an
Olympic set has been the only way to go for chest building fans. If the
gym where you workout has no Olympic set, they sure as hell better get
one quick. An ordinary barbell is just too low class for the avid bench
There's a prime reason Olympic sets are favored for bench press. Olympic
sets are important because they're properly balanced with more exacting
There's a problem due to abuse of Olympic sets. I call it the 'fast
Anyone who's ever bench pressed
with an Olympic set knows more weight can be handled on the 'sucker',
because it incorporates a terrific
spring action, as the bulky plates whip up and down on the ball-bearing
outer hub shaft. Meaning: If you let the bar descend quickly hitting the
rib cage, the seven foot bar bends a little in the center.
From the center bend it springs on the outside ends. The momentum of
this action enables the lifter to gain an edge when the muscles of the
chest and triceps kick in with their contracting ratio, or commonly
start to press the bar.
Herein lies the problem . . . the kick in point.
To make the rebound action even more pronounced many training bench
press fans drop the bar to chest, as fast as safely possible without
crushing themselves, especially to obtain this momentum of reverse
Olympic bar spring.
They feel this allows them to handle more weight and be stronger.
However, over years of abusing this technique because it becomes an
ingrained habit. It can play havoc on the shoulder, pectoral, clavicle,
upper arm bone ligament-tendon attachments.
The reason is simple. The stress and inertial force are too extreme for
these lock-in points, when they are forced to lock in and reverse the
descending stress. The bounce itself encourages a weak link in the total
action just before the initial contraction starts as the bar is set up
for the press from the chest.
As a consequence, this creates a whopping shock to the connective
tissues (ligaments and tendons) which hold the joints together and bond
the muscle to the bones involved. It can also irritate bursa sacs which
help lubricate the joint and tendon areas with synovial fluid. When
irritated these sacs may swell (termed: Bursitis) and over produce
fluid. Any pressure on these swollen sacs causes pain, until swelling
Example: A 300 pound bench press dropped fast isn't 300 pounds-by the
time it hits it could be 400 to 500. After it's bounced it's reduced
perhaps to less than half (liberally speaking) and where the kick-in
contractile point comes you've got a return to probably more than a
quarter ton or so. Muscle tissue may be able to handle this but it's a
monstrous assault of the joint's moorings after total relaxing for
Just ask heavy trainers in the North if they have shoulder problems in
the winter. That's indicative of improper warm-up for muscles and joint
connections and overstrain on the bench press. Plus, abusing the Olympic
set spring in particular. The set is good, it's the method that's bad.
In warmer climates where the body core training temperature allows more
elasticity percentage-wise this tendency is lower.
To add even more difficulty and aggravate the localized joint abuse,
some lay into their routines the press behind the neck for deltoids.
This savages the acromioclavicular/humeral joint shoulder connections
and bursa sacs even further with over stretching stress. Especially
strained and irritated is an under the deltoid stabilizing group set of
3 muscles called the 'rotator cuff' which tightly hold the ball and
socket of the shoulder together.
The pains, kinks, or inflammation in this area, and sometimes the total
immobilization of either the right or left arm due to overuse, or excess
stretching of the joint tell the story for many. Did this author learn
the hard way? How else?
If you can accept this explanations simplicity you can control this
problem. Fast getaways on the bench press aren't a building influence on
the materials the connective tissues are composed of.
Quite simply the 'vibes' and shock can micro tear or weaken them with
regular abusive applications. This may not show up today, or tomorrow.
But when it does the time may be equally inopportune. Say, under a
future maximum rep . . . suddenly you're shoulder 'burns' out on you, or
feels like it's collapsing.
An additional exasperating annoyance that hits like a lightning bolt
shock can come when you're sleeping. It happens as you turn to sleep on
your left or right side. The upper arm bone ball ending is forced to
shift in the socket as you lay on it. The abused over stretched loosened
'rotator cuff' gives a little, and 'pop' it's the kind of pain you
easily remember . . .for maybe a no training two weeks, sometimes in a
Go ahead, ask me how I know!
Correct this problem at the source. Control your weights and training
combination actions instead of letting them control you.
Some power crazy trainers believe they have to explode on the bench
press, or deadlift, or squat . . . any exercise to hit a 'max'.
Think about that. What is an explosion? It's when things are blown apart
isn't it? If a fast getaway allows more explosive power, then what's
General George Patton, one of the finest military geniuses of the 20th
Century was always one hundred percent with his fighting men.
You too who are fighting a war on your bench to gain poundage, may need
a lift psychologically before you train. What you are about to read here
is a 'Pattonesque' speech adapted for the express reason of psyching you
into concentrated action when you lift. Read it every time you bench
press . . . study it . . . believe it! Fore you, are advancing into a
personal battle that only you can win.
"Get ready . . . Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever became
a great bench presser without expending complete effort. He became one
by laying on a bench press and loving it as if it was his home, and
fighting that barbell like it would take his life away.
"All this stuff you've heard about things being easy is a lot of horse
dung. A real bench presser is a person who traditionally loves to fight.
All real bench press champions love the sting of battle against that
"When you were a kid you admired the person with the strongest arms,
widest shoulders and deepest chest, otherwise you wouldn't be using this
course . . . Bench pressing and the power it brings builds those . . . a
dedicated bench person loves to win and will not tolerate losing.
"On that bench you should play to win all the time. I wouldn't give a
hoot in hell for a person with a big body without any power. A bench
presser going heavy is a winner and always will be a winner, because the
very thought of losing is 'hateful' to the bench press champion.
"Now your upper body muscles and mind are a team and people who tell you
different don't know anymore about real bench pressing than fornicating.
You've got to get on that bench and fight.
"You have here some of the finest information for strength building ever
written, and that's not all you can expect. If for some reason, you have
to lift your fist to another person for an indiscretion committed
against your person with all the new power you'll gain . . . ya know, by
God I pity that poor bastard . . . by God I do.
"When you train you're not going to just lift that barbell, you're going
to bend that lousy iron monster. You're going to murder that piece of
metal by the pound.
"Now some of you may wonder if you'll ever really make it to the top and
gain what you're after . . . I can assure you that you'll do your thing.
"That bar is the enemy. Wade into that bar, grab it, make it do what you
want. When you put your hands around the shaft of that heavy barbell
that could smash your chest into a pile of goo . . . you'll know what to
"Now there's another thing that I want you to remember. I don't want to
get any messages or people writing me saying you're not going up on that
bench, and you're holding your positions. Let the other guy do that.
"You are advancing and going up in that weight. You're not interested in
staying there at the same poundage level. You're going to rip that bar
off the racks and haul ass. You're going to act strong and you're going
to fight strong all the time.
"You're going to gain weight on that bar and physical strength faster
than crap goes through a goose.
"If there's one thing that you'll be able to say in thirty years when
people will eventually be bench pressing 1000 pounds, and that's, ya may
have been one of them to fight for the goal if not achieve it.
"Alright, now 'you sons a bitches' you know how I feel . . . go on. I
will be proud, to back up a guy or gal with guts on a bench to do
battle, anytime, anywhere . . . that's all."
THE CODE OF THE BENCH PRESS
When you take that bar in your hands it is yours: mind, body, heart and
soul if you have one. You will win if you think win. It takes as much
energy to think 'win' as it does lose. But the consequences are as
different as these two one syllable words. How your body struggles
against the weight is the battle - The war is won when your arms
lockout. Your poundage will soar if you remember but one word - 'Win!',